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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> White Lightning versus Alien Bees
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Showing posts 1 - 11 of 11, (reverse)
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08/01/2008 04:33:50 PM · #1
Thinking of getting studio strobes.

Yes I know they're made by the same company. My question is, is the price premium of white lightning worth its aluminum construction, 250W modeling lamp instead of 100W, and three additional years of warranty?

Has anyone tried both? is there a difference?
08/01/2008 05:10:16 PM · #2
The pro I interned with at college had two White Lightnings. They gave him NOTHING but problems, and each one burned up (literally melted/burned) at least once. He only has one of them left now and hardly uses it except when he has to.

Go for the Alien Bees. Avoid the Lightnings at all costs!
08/01/2008 05:13:32 PM · #3
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

The pro I interned with at college had two White Lightnings. They gave him NOTHING but problems...


I had my heart on saving up for the White Lightning x1600. Becuase it can also work like a 400w and it' strong enough to shoot with outside. What model WL's did you folks work with?
08/01/2008 05:18:38 PM · #4
The White Lightnings are also more powerful.
08/01/2008 05:20:55 PM · #5
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

The pro I interned with at college had two White Lightnings. They gave him NOTHING but problems, and each one burned up (literally melted/burned) at least once. He only has one of them left now and hardly uses it except when he has to.

Go for the Alien Bees. Avoid the Lightnings at all costs!

The pro was probably misusing them. Most likely with overpowered modeling lights. I've never heard of anyone else having any problems with them melting or burning up.
08/01/2008 05:34:16 PM · #6
Originally posted by Mick:

Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

The pro I interned with at college had two White Lightnings. They gave him NOTHING but problems, and each one burned up (literally melted/burned) at least once. He only has one of them left now and hardly uses it except when he has to.

Go for the Alien Bees. Avoid the Lightnings at all costs!

The pro was probably misusing them. Most likely with overpowered modeling lights. I've never heard of anyone else having any problems with them melting or burning up.

I'm pretty sure that's not the case. He's an experienced photographer and is very careful to take care of his gear and I can't imagine that he put overpowered bulbs in them.

21_N.gif Techo, I'm not sure what models he was using. They were fairly new when he had the problems with them, about two years back, so I'd assume that they were the current mid-to-upper range model. And I'm curious what you mean about them being "strong enough to shoot outside?" My Nikon Speedlight can do that and I'm sure it's a lot less powerful...

At any rate, the OP wanted opinions, and this is mine. I've seen WLs go up in smoke for no good reason and I personally would never buy them. Maybe it was a fluke or a bad series of parts - who knows, but my faith in them is lost.
08/01/2008 05:35:27 PM · #7
yah I've never heard of the burning up issues either. o.O but I hear Paul C. Buff has relaly good customer service and quality control so I'm not too worried.

I'm thinking of getting either the AB800 or WLX800, so their power will be the same, just the price... and the aforementioned modeling lights, aluminum vs plastic, and extended warranty.

Edit: the x800 is 399, and the AB800 is 279. their accessories are the same. $120 difference.

Message edited by author 2008-08-01 17:39:02.
08/01/2008 06:33:31 PM · #8
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

...
And I'm curious what you mean about them being "strong enough to shoot outside?" My Nikon Speedlight can do that and I'm sure it's a lot less powerful...


As a fill the speed lights are fine from what I read. Once you add a softbox or umbrella that changes things or if you want to darken the background well enough. I guess it depends on the results you want to get. I don't have any of my own examples so I'll link here //forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=23071725
08/01/2008 08:03:06 PM · #9
I debated which one to buy and went with the White Lightnings for versatility...x1600 can be dropped down in power, they work great with softboxes.
Everything works, I am happy...
2 x x1600
1x 800
all White Lightning
08/01/2008 10:27:20 PM · #10
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

Originally posted by Mick:

Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

The pro I interned with at college had two White Lightnings. They gave him NOTHING but problems, and each one burned up (literally melted/burned) at least once. He only has one of them left now and hardly uses it except when he has to.

Go for the Alien Bees. Avoid the Lightnings at all costs!

The pro was probably misusing them. Most likely with overpowered modeling lights. I've never heard of anyone else having any problems with them melting or burning up.

I'm pretty sure that's not the case. He's an experienced photographer and is very careful to take care of his gear and I can't imagine that he put overpowered bulbs in them.

21_N.gif Techo, I'm not sure what models he was using. They were fairly new when he had the problems with them, about two years back, so I'd assume that they were the current mid-to-upper range model. And I'm curious what you mean about them being "strong enough to shoot outside?" My Nikon Speedlight can do that and I'm sure it's a lot less powerful...

At any rate, the OP wanted opinions, and this is mine. I've seen WLs go up in smoke for no good reason and I personally would never buy them. Maybe it was a fluke or a bad series of parts - who knows, but my faith in them is lost.

Since they have a 5-year warranty, he may still be able to send them in for repair.

BTW, I didn't mean to imply that your pro had deliberately misused his lights. They use a standard size bulb for the modeling light and it would be easy to replace a burned out bulb with a hotter one. Of course, it could have been a series of defective parts, as you said. Since WL strobes are designed for heavy all-day shooting conditions, and since I haven't seen any reports of similar problems, my first thought was user error. I still think that. I also think that advising people to "Avoid the Lightnings at all costs!" is going a bit overboard. Lots of people use WL strobes every day without any problems.

08/01/2008 10:59:35 PM · #11
i sure do like my AB400 to see what i can do with it go to www.roblewisphoto.com check out the devin and chan album
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